To the untrained ear, my name is ghetto. To the untrained eye, my background is “stereo typical” and my skin is black. But it’s not.
My name, is Nequette (Nee-qw-et). I go by Nique’ (Nik-ee), to some, and something completely different to those dearest to me. I love my name. Some say it’s french, some say African, (and both are true), but I am my name; It is not me. I’ve heard before that it was “ghetto/ethnic” and I’ve also heard that it was beautiful. And I’ve decided to take both as a compliment. As far as I’m concerned, there is no separation of the two adjectives, simply because they are the same. I’ve come to find, that there is in fact, beauty in everything. And I must represent them both, together and separately, quite well. My last name though, is a lesson learned, that reminds me to be wiser to love.
I guess my “ghetto” would be a few neighborhoods in New Orleans (and the N.O. area). And you can’t tell me that isn’t a beautiful city.
I’ve faced some of the ugliest moments of my life in the Big Easy; Amidst stuffing my face and day-drinking.
A single mother, raised by a single mother, (until Mom met my her true love), a victim of rape/molestation and a divorcee… These are just “unfortunate events”, right? Things that would normally move a person to react to the world around her from a dark place, always, for reasons unsaid. After all, hurt people, hurt people.
Instead, I choose to heal. From some of those dark moments, I’ve found who I was always meant to be. After all, it’s from darkness that you recognize light. In even those moments, beauty has come from it all. How many of you can say you might have a negative feeling for you child’s other parent, but you LOVE your children? It’s like that. You see yourself in a physical form, manifested from you and what the universe has given you, from the beauty of that situation.
My passion is just that; Creating beauty from the things around me out of simple, self-therapeutic habit and mental survival; and “being here” for the people like me who could use an accurate voice, a fresh pair of eyes, a new surrounding and a little push. Interior/Exterior design, dance, music and public speaking, have always been outlets of mine for moments when my mind reflects to a negative place. For every memory, I’d physically altar something around me for the “better” in order to make my area a little more beautiful. (Like biting your nails.)
Here, you’ll find things that inspire, that encourage you to self reflect and spiritually heal, that help you not only maintain, but thrive. This is a place specifically designed with the “single, bitter, struggling mom” and the fresh-meat 20-something, in mind. (Be honest.) For a long time, I hid the most beautiful parts of myself away for fear of having to “rise to the occasion”, until I realized- that, that was exactly why I am who I am. I am not my circumstances, but a sum of my actions from there. And I am here to inspire and create.
When Zoe learned her colors, she told me that I was brown and she was brown. Not black. And if we know anything, it’s that a two year old, is not a liar. Black, is a box. A refusal to acknowledge an entire culture as we know it to be, because that’s the way it was “always done”, from something taught, from a hateful place. A mind frame of negativity that we’ve all come to accept about ourselves because some of us, have grown to believe it. But I am brown. Correct me if I’m wrong and that’ll show you where you stand.
There is a standard that needs to be altered for my people; a unified understanding that starts with self and ripples outward so heavy, that it causes a tsunami of healing and success for all “blacks”. Somewhere the ball was dropped and we’ve been taught to blame everyone but ourselves for all of our struggles at this point.
Change starts with how we love ourselves and those around you will either be forced to get with it, or move the hell up out your way! Progress is never ending. We had a meeting; don’t miss the next one.
I am Nique’
And this is…